Lucian AMA Summary!

Posted on at 12:31 AM by Prof. Fridays
Greetings and salutations, Surrenderites, Flan Boys, and Odobenidae-hards! Earlier today, several of Riot developers teamed up to host an Ask Me Anything on anyting and everything Lucian!
Continue reading for a summary of the questions and answers so you don't have to comb through the reddit thread!

The following Rioters participated in this AMA:

  • Scarizard
  • Riot Runaan
  • nickstravaganza
  • Morello
  • Verdugren
  • RiotSilver

Lucian't find another AMA summary as good as this one! Ho ho! I have got the Threshest puns around!

Now, without further ado...!


[ What gave the inspiration to Lucian's and Senna's backstory and lore? ]

The inspiration for Lucian and Senna's story was actually pretty spur of the moment. Lucian and Thresh were actually developed around the same time (late last year) during the time we were focusing heavily on The Shadow Isles. We came up with the connection between them pretty organically - someone threw out the idea in a meeting. "Wouldn't it be crazy if Thresh had the soul of Lucian's wife in his lantern?" Everything else, all of the details, sprung up from there. As for Lucian's fellow hunters of evil, we're not ready to delve too deeply into the history of his weapons just yet - there's a lot of potential story there, and I wouldn't want to spoil anything. For his release as a champion, we wanted to focus on the emotional core and conflict of his relationship with Senna and Thresh. - RiotRunaan

[ Lucian has special taunts towards Hecarim and Mordekaiser as well as Thresh. Has he had a run-in with the first two before, or is he simply learned about his foes? ]
Lucian's hatred of the Shadow Isles is centered on Thresh, but his mission to purge the undead definitely doesn't stop there. He's definitely encountered other denizens of the Shadow Isles along the way - thus the custom taunts. :) - RiotRunaan

[ Do you flesh out the stories more than just the lore that is revealed to the players? Is there a more intricate story about how Thresh actually tricked Senna and escaped from Lucian? ]
Yes, there's definitely more to the story than we've given away. We had a ton of discussion on how Thresh manipulated Senna and managed to capture her, but the things we talked about couldn't be told in a way we thought would be satisfying or impactful to players. We chose to focus on the core of the characters involved and leave some revelations and story for the future. - RiotRunaan

This is mostly for Runaan/the other lore folks, just how "trapped" is Senna within Tresh's lantern? Is she stuck forever or is there a possibility of her breaking out and becoming a "banshee queen" kinda champion? :P
Also, is Thresh the Ruined King of the Shadow Isles? His face and a womanly face can be seen on the mini-map - is this Senna? Is Thresh possibly the male-relic-ghost (from when he was human) and Senna (the more remorseful one) the female ghost? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES ;-;
Lore nerds! Yay! ]
Senna's pretty dang trapped for the moment. There's nothing to say that she couldn't be set loose - Thresh's goal in taking her to the Shadow Isles was essentially to set her free there, where her powerful soul would be transformed into some kind of monstrosity. However, he hasn't let her go... is he keeping her trapped as a tool to torment Lucian, or is there a deeper motivation behind his keeping her locked away? Food for thought! :)
Second few questions: no, Thresh is not the Ruined King of the Shadow Isles. Interesting observation on the TT minimap - take whatever you'd like from that detail. : ) - RiotRunaan

[ What's the difference between The Purifier and The Night Hunter, both thematically and lore-wise? Vayne and Lucian's jobs seem extremely similar to me.
Is hunting the supernatural a common occupation in Demacia? ]
You're right, they are very similar on a base thematic level ("hunters of evil"), but they're essentially two sides of the coin - think of it in terms of darkness and light. Lucian and Senna hunted evil with its natural opposite, righteous magic intended to destroy corruption. They were also protectors; their motivation hinged on saving innocents in need as much as it did purging corruption. They were beloved heroes. Vayne, on the other hand, is more of the Batman of Runeterra - she's hell-bent on destroying the supernatural, but she is not afraid of using underhanded methods and turning the darkness against itself. Her methods are not always smiled upon by greater society.
Personally, the similarities between them alongside the subtle differences are a really interesting opportunity for future interaction. They wouldn't get along, but they'd share incredibly similar goals - perhaps they'll end up reluctantly fighting a common threat one day. Who knows? - RiotRunaan

[ So, just to clarify because the Batman analogy made me slightly confused.... Vayne is more of an anti-hero sometimes adored, sometimes villified (like Deadstroke), when Lucian is more of a traditional hero (like Superman)? ]
Yes, that's roughly it (though Lucian's in a place where he's "fallen" in a way after the death of his wife - he's lost sight of the righteousness of his mission in favor of obsessive revenge against the undead of the Shadow Isles). - RiotRunaan

[ Might we see Lucian save his wife at some point in the near future? ]
Maybe, maybe not - that's one of the core hooks to his story, it'd be a shame to spoil everything, wouldn't it? :) - RiotRunaan 

[ What powers do the guns that Lucian uses have? ]
His guns essentially fire purifying light magic. They also cannot be fired by just anyone - you have to have certain qualities to be able to fire them. - RiotRunaan

[ Why did thresh have interest in Senna's soul but not Lucian? or did he take her life just to torment Lucian for the day he eventually takes his soul? ] 
Thresh hunts the strongest souls in Runeterra and brings them back to the Shadow Isles to make them into undead monstrosities. Senna and Lucian's souls are some of the most powerful he's ever encountered. He managed to trap Senna, but not Lucian - Thresh is keeping Senna's soul in his lantern to torment Lucian and lure him into the Shadow Isles' snare.
(Or is he? Thresh may hold a deeper motivation for keeping Senna around. Hmmm!) - RiotRunaan

From where in Runeterra is Lucian? ] 
He's from Demacia! - RiotRunaan


[ I've noticed that when Lucian's passive is used, if he begins moving, he continues the animation by shooting to his side/over his shoulder and I absolutely adore it. How difficult was this to implement and can we expect such smooth animations for future abilities? ]
Hey, as Lucian's animator, I can answer. That passive animation uses something called parametric blending, which allows us to blend between different animations based on how he turns. We've used it in the past on Thresh (his long chain) and on Zac (Stretching Strike). We're using it more going forward and even on Lucian, it's used on his W and his Ult in addition to the passive. - nickstravaganza

[ I've always found it fascinating that Draven will extend his arm to catch the axe. Is this related technology? ]
Kinda. I think that Draven animation is just the upper body having its own separated animation, which is also what happens with Lucian, but on top of that we add the parametric blend that modifies where his upper body is turned. - nickstravaganza

[ As someone just about to enter college to study animation, I really need to add to this. What program do you mainly use to animate/model/rig your characters? Is there just about 1 person for every job, or are there employees that do more than just animate. I.E. Rigger/Animator. How long does it take to create every animation for the character. How many of you animate one character? Also I remember Cassiopeia's spotlight was how she was animated using Autodesk Maya. Are there any plans to do another one of these? ] 
We use Maya for all the animation, while using a proprietary program to set up the characters and control things like blends between animations and how often idles play (along with more complex things). At Riot, we're pretty specialized. The animators animate and the riggers rig. Many of us have other talents beyond that, but we focus on the one discipline at work. We usually have at least two animators on a champ, but sometimes the timing works out that there's only one. We shift around based on the needs of the character. How long it takes per anim depends greatly on the anim itself. A simple channel can be a few hours, while an elaborate dance or something can take several days or go through multiple iterations.
Good luck with your studies! - nickstravaganza

[ Are we going to see this implemented on Quinn, since her passive mechanically takes longer to proc than a regular auto attack? I think it almost goes hand-in-hand with the glitch that everyone has been complaining about regarding auto attacks. ]
Well It figures prominently into Lucian's passive because the second shot has to be able to go off while running and it's important for the visual to line up. It's a visual thing since mechanically, the second shot would happen regardless.
As for Quinn, can you describe the glitch you're seeing? This animation technique would only really apply if she were to move while firing, which is a separate design consideration. - nickstravaganza

[ While it looks awesome and in theory seems a great ability, The Culling has very lacking damage and uses outside of attempting to finish off a target from long range or simply trying to scare off an enemy while backing away. Are any changes planned to this ability? It doesn't seem to serve a purpose in teamfights nor skirmishes as it is difficult to hit and the ultimate isn't worth using instead of basic attacks. Are you comfortable with the ability being used only as poke, disengage and sniping? The very short cooldown seems to promote using it outside of larger battles, too. ] 
I think a lot of the power of the Culling is tucked away in the simple fact that you can move + cast Relentless Pursuit while using it. You're totally right that the Low Cooldown is to incentivize using it whenever you feel the need without having to feel like you've wasted it - I can see us (do not misinterpret - VERY SLIGHTLY) upping the AD ratio on it, but the situations you're outlining are the situations the ability is designed to handle. Doing DPS in a fight when a bruiser decides to jump you? Hit Ardent Blaze + The Culling on them and move backward and enjoy repositioning while dealing damage.
Balance on this spell due to a number of factors has always been on a knife-edge - a simple ratio increase can take it into 'Lucian just uses his short cooldown Culling and everything dies' or 'Lightshow tickle-fight'. If it's more the latter, as always, we'll make changes if he needs it. Just not convinced he needs it at the moment. - Scarizard

[ Why isn't his Q a skill shot? Any particular reason as to why it is the way it is right now? ]
There were really two reasons driving this - one was that Lucian earlier on was missing a reliable damage ability which playtests showed that he really needed. We also felt that he needed a 'trickshot' type ability, or something that had him lining up shots or feeling clever about using well situationally.
This led to the Double Up + Ricochet style ability we have - in lane and in skirmishes, it allows Lucian to line up some nice shots (I've personally gotten kills -through- an enemy champion to their allied support or jungler a few times), but in the latergame you can still just put your mouse on them and fire away for the damages.
Once we really embraced it as 'Lucian uses a target to aim the laser, then fires it no matter what' we also found interesting interactions (for instance, Vayne can tumble away from it, quicker movement speeds can run away from it) that actually made it feel much cooler from a playing against perspective. - Scarizard
As the other post, but we wanted to make something that required aim and skill, but wasn't the same as other skillshots. Lucian instead must watch the position of enemies to get extended range and AOE. This differentiates him from someone like Ezreal. - Morello

[ What was the decision-making behind making 2 of his abilities (Q and R) dodgeable by a simple dash? And what did you do to counteract this issue? Is he just simply not a champion you pick before they pick ADC because he is easily countered? Does that make him OP against ADCs without dashes? ]
Basically, he has counter-play and Lucian needs to manage that. If you shoot a Q and burn a 20-second cooldown dash, then gj :)
He needs to be precise and rely on his team to set up more favorable scenarios to maximize his effectiveness. This is generally a direction I'd like to see more in ADC's and less one-man-army designs - Morello

[ He just doesn't flow very well as a result. In comparison to someone like Vayne who has a very fluent skill set and as a result is able to maximize her efficiency 100%.
I'm just curious because other ad carries do not have the magnitude of counter play to their kits as Lucian has with his. I know you wanted Lucian to have counter play to his abilities, but you have to realize that this makes him a weaker champion than the other ad carries by far.
It's just not very fun when enemies can almost completely invalidate your skill set by simply moving to the side.
Basically, you made him easy to counter, but you didn't give him anything special to compensate for that fact. ]
To be fair, we got this feedback about Caitlyn when she launched. I'm not convinced people have solved Lucian yet (Draven was similar too).
I'd rather make it so more counterplay exists than less. We haven't always done a good job of this, but no excuse to not do better :) Additionally, we think there's a bit of wonkiness in his AA frame that contributes to this flow disruption. - Morello

[ Also, why did you guys go with so much mobility with W and E instead of some CC? ]
His Q and R require him to be in a strong position, so we gave him tools to manage that. His weakness/downside to pay for that is no control - a good weakness for Marksmen. - Morello 

[ How does Lucian's ultimate interact with Lulu's Help, Pix!, and how does his passive interact with the aforementioned ability? ]
As Lulu's Pix buff is a modifier to your basic attack, it would not have any interaction with The Culling (As the Culling is a spell) - but would double-shoot pixbolts with Lightslinger, as it's two basic attacks. - Scarizard

[ After seeing all the feedback about his ultimate, are there any plans for possible change? ] 
Not fundamentally, no. The feedback is "this is hard to use optimally," in which I say "good!" This means it has play/counter-play - a skill that players can improve.
Balance changes can always occur, of course, but I really think the answer is cooldown. Having it be unreliable but more frequent is a good way to even it out. - Morello

[ What kind of team comps do you see Lucian fitting in? ]
We generally have seen him work really well in kite/disengage teams, or pick-based compositions. Things like Elise, Ahri, Thresh (funnily enough) - anyone that makes the opponent stop moving, Lucian can just turn on the Giga-Culling-Prismatic-Gatling-Death-Attack and blow through them with ease.
Have to say i'm also hopeful of his viability in a double-AD composition that we've seen worldwide. Lucian Mid is quite good, due to wave clear, escapability and the aforementioned burst-damage. Played some tests internally with Lucian Mid and a Vayne Bot and between the two of us we cleaned house. - Scarizard

[ Read as, "Vayne ... cleaned house." ]
I actually ended the game with ~20 kills and Vayne only had 13 #ggwp
(I think the Double AD comp would work with Caitlyn or Tristana bot as well - anyone with late-game scaling while Lucian builds AD/CDR and basically jayces people throughout the early and midgame) - Scarizard

[ Any reason why Lucian's ult doesn't add on-hit effects when that's such a big part of his Lightslinger passive? I think it'd be a buff to put him in a very decent position. ] 
Pretty much echoing what people have said before, we didn't want to apply on-hits unless there was a strong reason to do so. We've had periods of Lucian's balance where his ult is 80% of the damage he deals to a person he kills and as such was kind of insane - Imagine getting hit with Frozen Fist or other types of onhits at the same time D: !
It just came down to a judgement call on our parts - the Culling is kind of a numbers-intensive ability when it comes to balance - adding On-hits into that equation lowers the amount of strength the ability itself is allowed to have due to needing to balance around the 'best-cast (Ex. if Bork+Shiv+Iceborn Gauntlet+SOTEL Culling is insane, Culling without these items needs to be at 20% Capacity just because he -could- build them). - Scarizard

[ Will you buff lucian next patch? ] 
Likely not. If we need to buff him we will, but waiting and not overreacting to first-impression feedback and letting people get accustomed to the champion/letting people explore different builds generally yields better results.
Personally, none of us are convinced that he's weak, and data is trending to suggest it either. Daniel Klein and i already prepared Buffs in the event that he's weak, or nerfs in the event that he's OP and can change him if he requires either. - Scarizard

[ Do you guys at riot feel like you may have dumbed down his ult a little too much? In anything past 30minutes I don't even use it! Normal attacks seem to do more damage.. Unless I'm running away I suppose :P ] 
I think it all comes down to your build - Varus and Miss Fortune are two champions with really powerful AD Ratios, but these will tend to fall-off if your build doesn't support ability usage and instead favors sustained basic attack damage. Besides, doing damage while kiting or backing off as an AD carry isn't something i would turn down! - Scarizard

[ Hi Scarizard thanks to you and all the other Rioters for your hard and consistent work.
I just want to know, why did you decide to go the set direction route with Lucian's Ultimate ''The Culling''? What where its, if any, previous incarnations, and how did you envision its usage? A few of us see it as a peeler ult in team fights for spread damage or to whittle away troublesome tanks. ]
That's basically the reason for it existing, tbh - to give him a movement-agnostic way of dealing with diving champions and maintaining his 'slippery' feel. The Culling has basically been on the kit since Day 1 - but it was initially tuned as a 'blow this guy up and do every bit of damage' spell. The base Damage/Ratio are still very high, but we found that with that model Lucian's Ult took up almost all of the power budget of the champion, such that his Q/W/E/P felt really useless, but then the Culling would just instagib people out of nowhere. We decided to make the Culling still a good portion of his kill/damage potential, but inject more agency into his other spells. - Scarizard

[ As a developer of Lucian, what do you think makes him a better pick than the other AD carries? ] 
Lucian's balance is a thing line between Graves and Ezreal. We want him to be slippery and deal a lot of burst/spell damage, but at the cost of range and durability.
I answered this previously so you can find it the answer more in-depth above, but generally anyone looking to take a fight quickly or take down CC'd targets can't go wrong with Lucian as a carry. - Scarizard


[ How did you get to work with The Crystal Method for the theme? ]

A bunch of us are fans of their work. We invited them over to Riot HQ to talk about champs, and they were really into Lucian. We thought their sound was a great fit for him too. From there, after a bunch of sessions at Riot and then work at their studio with Praeco, we got them into the mindset of Lucian and his story. - Verdugren

[ I don't really have a question, I just wanna say that Lucian has the best login music since Diana! Good job to the guy who made it. It's totally awesome! ]
:) appreciate it! It was a collaboration between The Crystal Method and our team led by Praeco. - Verdugren

[ What was it like working with Daniel 'Zenon' Klein on the champion, someone who seems pretty insane in all of my personal dealings with him? ]
The day Daniel started, i thought to myself 'I wonder if i'll tear my hair out working with him.' Many months later and after our first project - i can safely say i'm still asking myself the same question :P
Truthfully though, Daniel's personality i feel is what helped keep Lucian core through a lot of feedback and iteration. Champion Designers are usually the guardians of their Champion's feel, and he was no exception in this regard. Quite sure i'm speaking for the team when i say it's awesome working Daniel and would do so again. - Scarizard

[ When designing his skillset, how did you go about it -- were you trying to fill a sort of niche (more mobile Marksmen), or were you directly focusing on the design first, and then designing around that into something that makes sense? I ask because I know the philosophy of "making something to fill what we're missing" as much as I know the one of "design what makes thematic sense" -- or is it somewhere in between? ] 
Lucian was a weird process - it actually broke a couple backs on the way because of lack of direction on this front.In the end, we did something in-between; the thematics called for something that felt pretty "action-packed" (using references of material like the Matrix or Equilibrium), but we wanted to explore a space that was both more auto-attack focused to fit the role of a Marksman.Additionally, we wanted to try something a bit different than missile-based skillshots to get there, which leads to skills like Lucian's Q and R being "aimed," but not shooting normal skillshots. - Morello

[ I have only 1, burning, related, and incredibly important question...
How can this be the second Dual pistol wielding champion and we STILL don't have a skill with a double line shot ala Zed's shadowed Q? Lucian is shooting to both sides on his login screen and splash but I'm still not able to fire a skill shot like that. T_T ]
We actually had a number of kits that featured strange double-skillshots. It's "cool" for sure, but it really doesn't do anything very useful and feels clunky. It'd be a better fit for a short range or melee character, who can use that positioning advantageously. - Morello

[ Honestly I think it needs to show up on a marksman who's Dual wielding, in this case it's one of those "thematic" points that IronStylus is always chattering on about. Not having that Dual Wielder who can fire in multiple directions at the same time is one of those themes that League still lacks despite now having 2 characters that could have hit that mark. ]
Thematically we agree, but if the gameplay just doesn't work, I don't want that idea to torpedo a character (and in this case, it would have). - Morello

[ Why was Thresh picked as Lucian's rival over other established villains (Elise, Mordekaiser, Dr Priggs, Cho'Gath etc)? ]
Originally, we wanted them to be released near each other, but some release complexities changed that. We thought the lantern hook was good too - it's easier to understand the relationship when a character already has "this thing holds souls." :) - Morello
To add to Morello's post, we also wanted a character who stood in contrast to the Shadow Isles specifically. As Thresh was in development, it was an ideal opportunity to bring the two together. - RiotRunaan 

[ First of all, congratulations on the animations and music on the login screen, it looks amazing and gave me the chills.
Question: do you guys plan on making any kind of videos about lore? I love what you are doing with the shadow isles, now with the adition of lucian it just got better. ]
Thanks so much for the feedback on the login! Our teams for music, art, and tech that worked on it have been so pumped to see the great reaction. We are always exploring new ways to tell stories about the champs and their world (Udyr comic, what we've done now with Lucian)- stay tuned for more! - Verdugren

[ Who managed to get in contact with The Crystal Method? Were they your first choice for people to help you make his music? ]
A couple of us on the music team led by Praeco got in touch. We're fans of their music, we reached out and they were pumped to work with us. They loved Lucian from the start after our initial hangout, and we thought they were a perfect fit. - Verdugren 

[ What was the process for this champion's evolution (ie timeline through idea, art, gameplay, design phases) ? ] 
We've been messing with this concept for awhile. We wanted something inspired by the cool gunplay and feel of something similar to the Matrix, which led the concept artist (Eoin) to draw Lucian.
The challenge was in getting the gameplay to feel that way too. Lucian couldn't just have two guns, he needed to prove that he knew kung fu. - Morello

[ How did you get the idea for the Ultimate ''The Culling''? ]
Basically, it was inspired by letting him have his John Woo-style moment; run and gun to the extreme.
Originally, it let him move and attack at the same time, which is not only ultra-powerful, but also even harder to use than the current. We wanted to retain that thematic feel, but needed different mechanics. - Morello
Couple more details - thematically, we wanted a moment in which Lucian could "let loose." All of his other abilities are very focused, precise, and deliberate. In his ultimate, raw emotion breaks through his normally cool and collected personality. - RiotRunaan

[ When designing a champion, does the idea originate from a character concept, or an in-game mechanic concept? Which was Lucian created from? ]
 It can come from either, depending on the champion. Lucian was inspired first by the concept art. His gameplay went through many iterations, but he's always stayed quite close to the first image. - nickstravaganza

[ Was there anything fun in the development of lucian? Like any awesome/funny bugs? ]
Nothing too gamebreaking, except when we implemented Ardent Blaze's MS proc, 'Blucian' was the build we were testing. While that build still lives (No longer truly blue, just an AD + CDR build) - Spirit of the Elder Lizard's True Damage (That was applied by the W spell itself) was proccing the Mark, allowing him to just get insane MS at long range without having to follow-up which was pretty OP D: - Scarizard

[ His autoattack and ultimate particles are really unique -where did you get the inspiration for them? ] 
Lucian is all about light. Originally his particles in development looked very prismatic with many more colors than their current state. At that point they were pretty noisy and treaded a little too close to Lux's particle design space so we ended up limiting the palette to a blue/yellow sceme that we feel still communicated the same thing, in a more unique and readable way. - RiotSilver

[ Lucian is the first time we have seen a login screen with a replay button, was this harder to program adding an additional controlled to the login interface? We will see more interaction with login art in the future? (Could lead to some cool easter eggs) ] 
We have some awesome tech/art wizards who weave the black magic that makes the login screen work... They definitely picked up their game for this one and are always looking to level up what we do with the login. - Verdugren

[ So how many John Woo movies did you guys watch in the process of designing Lucian? ]
Mandatory John Woo viewings. Daily. - Scarizard

[ Hi! When your lore connects so well with another champion, in this case Thresh, do you on purpose leave things open that you can add onto, or do you plan ahead? Was the Lucian and Thresh relationship planned around when Thresh was being made? ]
Hey there! :) We definitely wanted to leave a lot open-ended between Lucian and Thresh. Usually, when we develop relationships between champions, we like to leave some elements of the story to be explored in the future. As I mentioned in another response, Lucian and Thresh were actually developed around the same time late last year - Lucian's gameplay just required a lot of iteration that led to his much later release date. - RiotRunaan

[ Can you tell us the process of designing a champion please? What comes first (skill concepts or art)? ]
Champion development, especially early on is a very fluid process. Ideas can come from anywhere. Sometimes it can start from the art, sometimes from it's game design. Lucian in particular came from an initial concept painting and was designed and iterated on from there. - RiotSilver

[ How many man hours went into building Lucien across art, design, and coding? ]
Probably like half a day. - Scarizard
a lot..... @_@ - RiotSilver
Tons. - RiotRunaan

[ As a guy with a bit of OCD I hate you for not making his guns look the same. ] 
:( Apologies! The fact that they're different is very important from a story perspective, though, and something we focused on quite heavily during art iteration. One of the weapons belonged to his wife, and one of them was his all along. It was a tough challenge to make sure the guns were similar enough to avoid the implication of a different power source or different gameplay between the two, but still preserve such an important aspect of his story. - RiotRunaan

Thanks for the AMA! Do you guys put extra effort on the login screens based on feedback from login screens like Vi's? ]
Hey dude!
We're always trying to push the limits with login screens. For Lucian's in particular, the idea came about at the same time we decided what his splash would be. Ultimately we try to showcase what makes each champion unique. For Vi it was all about her punk rock and combative style. For Lucian, we really wanted to focus on the idea of his dual wielding and his purifying light. This is why the only thing lighting the scene is the light emanating from his guns and each of the guns shoot separately. We will always be looking for ways to push login screens in the future in ways that are appropriate to the characteristics of future champions. We have a few cool ideas :) - RiotSilver

In reading Lucian's lore, I found myself a little troubled by the obvious refridgerator-ing of Senna. Given the environment where we interact with our pastime, and the opportunity Riot really has to tell unique, powerful, and unconventional stories, Senna's treatment strikes me as a cop-out. Were there any internal discussions about whether or not to use the Damsel trope and whether it was appropriate here? With the set of obvious gender problems in the current champion pool, I feel that it may have been more satisfying to see Senna as the champion and Lucian tossed in the refrigerator. ]
Hey there, this is a really great observation. In writing Lucian's story (and being a woman myself), I struggled with this quite a bit. I admit that it does feel like a bit of a cop-out in the way it's been presented so far, but the conclusion I came to was that the story we're focusing on, at least for Lucian's champion release, is Lucian's. We did our best to hint at Senna's deeper character - for example, it's lightly touched upon that when they were together, she was the more no-nonsense and "tougher" of the two (with Lucian being the more light-hearted and humored). It was important to communicate, at least in a small sense, that she was more than just a cardboard cutout "damsel," even if we were going to present very limited information about her. There's also the mystery of how exactly Thresh managed to manipulate and trap her - this is something we left intentionally vague, as it's something we eventually want to reveal as very deep to Senna's character. The most I can say is that it was not at all a simple trap.
We've left a lot open for further development on Senna's character, too - for example, I hope people speculate as to what her interaction with Thresh is like from within the lantern. Senna's a fighter; she's not going to take his torment easily.
tl;dr - I admit Senna's presentation in current lore is very limited. That said, we have discussed her very heavily and there is more to her than what's been presented thus far. I very much want to develop her further and use her in ways that aren't typical to the "damsel in distress" trope in the future. : ) - RiotRunaan

Thanks for this.
I do like that you plan on going into more depth as to the trap, etc., however, even if the particular character is more than a cardboard cutout, that doesn't stop the contribution to the broader use of the trope. The simple decision that it was Lucian's story that was being told is its own problem. Not many games tell stories the way that League does, and most other games have stories that are fixed in the way you encounter them. Assuming that Senna, or someone else related to the story becomes playable later, a larger piece of the story becomes visible and the story becomes more complex, but Lucian's remains firmly grounded in the damsel in distress model.
Certainly, Lucian's is not one of the most pernicious versions of the trope, but given the conversation taking place in the industry right now, the unapologetic damsel story sits uncomfortably with me; I cringed a little bit when the voiceover started on the log-in screen ("She was everything to me").
Of course, like I said, the fact that Senna's story can move forward from here is a good thing! However, I wonder about how it would play differently if we started with Senna's story, then found out how Lucian saw things. My feeling is that this would feel more subversive of the trope, while hearing Lucian's version first feels more like apologizing for using it after the trope has already been used. Then again, there is always the simple fact that a release schedule has to be maintained and Lucian was ready to go. ;p ] 
Thanks for the reply - in all honesty, I absolutely cannot disagree with you. Our game's (currently) limited mediums for storytelling are something myself and my team struggle with on every champion's release. We're working on broader solutions, but in the mean time, we do what we can.
Part of the trouble comes from the fact that champion releases are not inherently a storytelling platform. As a goal, they're intended to be comprehensive and digestible from a high level - there's little room for nuance (take, for example, the confusion that resulted from our presentation of Zac's backstory in his laboratory logs; we wanted to convey the detail and nuance of Zac's upbringing, but it led to skewed player expectations in terms of what Zac would actually be as a champion). The reliance on tropes to convey our stories is something we're aware of and trying to improve, but it's also often a necessity for conveying our champions' stories in the most understandable way possible. This doesn't excuse reliance on "woman in the refrigerator" for Lucian, of course (there are larger problems at play in this particular instance), but hopefully this illuminates some of the how and why of we get here. In a perfect world, we'd be able to present lots of information outside of Senna for Lucian's story (the history of the weapons, how he came to be "the Purifier," any of the information we've discussed internally), but the fact remained that we wanted to choose the most compelling and immediately emotional hook for the champion's release. Everything else, however much depth or subversion it adds to the story, must come later.
I realize all of this sounds very apologist, I certainly don't mean it that way. I don't necessarily think that "damsel in distress" is problematic as a rule, either, the problems arise from how such a story is presented (which I further admit we made a conscious decision to keep simplistic and trope-reliant here).
This is getting a bit rambly, sorry about that. I really do hope to explore more of Lucian and Senna in the future outside the constraints of a champion release. There's a lot beneath the surface, we just need to find the right medium in which to bring it all to light. - RiotRunaan

Don't worry about rambling - happy to sit and read it.
I think we agree about tropes not being a bad thing per se; tropes, like symbols, are a useful way to convey a lot of information in a small amount of space. Similarly, a champion release is a bit of a blessing and a curse on this front. Basically, you guys are stuck trying to convey a lot (see e.g., Zac) in a very small amount of space, which prohibits some amount of nuance.
However, you get a lot more room to tell different sides of a story! Senna is probably going to be a prime example of this (if I'm reading your wink-wink/nudge-nudge correctly). So, there is that.
Though I do wonder, given the limitations on a champion release, if using a particularly pernicious trope blend (woman in the refrigerator) at all was a bad idea - even when there are plans to expand upon it later. Basically, I don't envy your job on this one at all. The only thought I have is that I wish that, like a bug or iteration issue, a lore and presentation related concern was enough to justify shelving a champion until a less troubling presentation was possible. ]
Even telling different sides of a story can sometimes be a bit difficult - for example, one idea for Lucian's teaser was actually a letter written in Senna's voice, but we scrapped it simply because telling a story from an "NPC's" perspective on a champion's release in such a way ran the risk of setting the incorrect player expectation as well (that said, outside voices for teaser/promotional material isn't out of the question, it's just something that didn't work out in this situation). It's not something we outright ignored, it's just something we haven't solved yet.
Whether or not it was a bad idea to use the trope at all, I'm not certain - players certainly seemed to react well to the core hook of the story, in the very least. If my goal was to encourage attachment to Lucian as a character, I hope I've succeeded in that right. It's a complicated question, honestly, and something Riot is continuing to explore and work through.
Thanks for the insight and calling me out on this - it's something I'm glad for the opportunity to comment on, as it was a fairly important part of Lucian's development (at least for me)! - RiotRunaan

What was the main inspiration behind Lucian's looks and motions? ] 
He went through a lot of changes early on, but the initial inspiration for his motion was, as many have noted, Equilibrium and the Matrix. I explored some early gun kata-esque moves, but ultimately we match the animations to the kit. - nickstravaganza

Why is Lucian's laugh so light and quite? Is this to make him seem really tough or is it to show that he doesn't speak much because he is too cool and only handles business? I ask this because a lot of other champions have a laugh that is loud,quick and are spam able and Lucian's is slow and broken up more like grunts of toughness. ]
We kept his laugh small and subtle because he's not particularly jovial, but we definitely realize that players enjoy spamming certain emotes. - nickstravaganza 

Lucian's gate is very cool in early levels with no or basic boots, however i have notice that when you buy faster boots his strides look very exaggerated. Is this a flaw or bug or is there something more in his gate that gives a sense of his character away? ] 
We try to differentiate between runs at different speeds. Thanks for the feedback though, I've been considering some small adjustments. - nickstravaganza

[ This is Lucian splash art
What is this symbol ?
Why the original concept is having a different symbol ?
Here is the original concept:
Why the ingame mode of Lucian is having only half of this symbol ?
Is this symbol the combination of this others symbols? ]
The symbol hanging on lucian's belt is a memento he keeps from his wife's uniform. It evolved in the time between when his concept was made and the actual in game model. It, along with one of his shoulder pads, is meant to symbolize that he his carrying on both his and his wife's mission. - RiotSilver  


[ What is your explanation for Thresh/Lucian lanes? Is it at least harder for Lucian to click the lantern? ]
Awkward. - RiotRunaan
[ It's not really about Lucian but I wanted to know if you plan on doing more awesome login screens like Lucian's for the next champions to come ? :D ]
We're sure gonna try :D - RiotSilver

[ Is Hired Gun Lucian based on The Twins from Matrix: Reloaded? ]
There's some influence from that there, for sure. - Morello 

[ When Senna was taken from Lucian did he sit on a park bench and stare at a cupcake with tears in his eyes? ]
"She was everything to me. But they took her. And with her, they took my pastries and my cookies. That was their mistake - because now, all I've got left is a cold cupcake." - RiotRunaan
“They thrive on sweets. They feast on desserts. These wretched abominations blight this world, and every last one of them will perish by my hand...” - Prof. Fridays

Scarizard: are you Scarborough fair? ] 
Definitely never heard this once i my life ever, not even one time :D - Scarizard 

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